Longtime staff says thank you

Bill Shepard - Senior Photographer

Bill Shepard – Senior Photographer

Bill Shepherd

Well it’s time to say goodbye. For the last couple of months I’ve tried to figure out how to say goodbye.

I am finally going to graduate after six years at Missouri Southern and five years on The Chart.

I first started at Southern as an undecided major. I soon picked up a copy of The Chart laying around campus and wondered why Missouri’s great outdoors was not being represented in The Chart. I joined The Chart the next semester as a staff writer and started my own column called Outdoor Escape. I wanted to share the outdoors with Southern students and I’ve always loved traveling.

I wrote a column about different areas in Missouri that students might enjoy and after my first year on The Chart, I had decided on a path. I wanted to become an outdoor journalist and I declared a double major in biology and mass communications.

Soon I became interested in taking pictures of all the wonderful places I was visiting around the Ozarks and the world. I knew that many people would not be able to see these beautiful places.

I decided to become a staff photographer and figured I would be more valuable to employers if I could write and take pictures of the stories I’m covering. So, over the last five years on The Chart I’ve been perfecting my art.

Now, I’m about to graduate with a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in print media. I didn’t make through my biology degree but, I’ve not given up on it. Now that I’m done with communications, I’ve decided to become a freelance photojournalist and work part time for local newspapers wherever I live at the time.

It’s been a long road. I could mention a bunch of names of friends, staff and faculty who effected my life the most at Southern, but, most of us already know who these special people are. I’ve written lots of stories and taken lots of pictures of staff, students, faculty and famous guests of Southern.

But, what I’m most proud of is my job of recording history because, really that’s what journalists do. And, that’s what The Chart has done for Southern. I’m most proud of my friends at The Chart. I’ve seen a lot of friends come and go over the years. As far as I’m concerned The Chart is the best student organization on campus.

We have faithfully, respectfully, and with dignity recorded Southern’s history with honor over the five years that I’ve been a part of this wonderful group. The Chart won best in state university newspaper in 2002 and 2003, beating out 26 other colleges and universities. The Chart has never faltered in its desire to hold journalism and the students well being above anything else. The students on The Chart have been some of the brightest, most professional, and most hard working people I have ever meet. They often put in 20 hours a week on The Chart for just one credit hour.

I always came back every semester because of you.

They have deeply inspired me to become the best journalist I can. I must say thank you. I know that some of you will become famous in your career. I will consider it a privilege to work with you in the future as we carry out the honor of recording the truth of history.